March 16, 2015

Keeping it Real: The Shockingly Simple Change That Can Improve All of Your Relationships

A friend posted this article on Facebook over the weekend. It talks about how smartphones affect relationships. And while this is a "no duh" statement, for as much as we talk about how these little devices can control us, behavior often remains the same. The author talks about how she decided to pocket her phone for a week - unless alone. And what she found is pretty powerful.

1. People copied her
2. People liked talking to her more
3. People trusted her more

A few months ago I was with a friend (a very socially active one at that) and after our coffee together I remember thinking that she didn't take out her phone once...and neither did I. It definitely made me more conscious of being present and enjoying our time together. It was so out of my norm that I remember it. That tells me something.

I started my career in an environment where I had to be readily available 24/7 (i.e. if I went for a run, my flip phone or blackberry (remember the first ones?)) went with me. That was my training ground. That is where I built some bad (really bad) habits. And they've stayed with me ever since. In fact, in many ways, these bad habits have become socially acceptable (Emily Post is rolling over in her grave).

My job today requires a high level of availability and response, but not to the point that I have to be a slave to my phone...but I am...and it's my choice. Whether it's email, Facebook, Twitter or instagram I'm always digitally connected and I know it's affecting my relationships. My +1 and I have had plenty of arguments about constantly being on my phone. And I'm working on it. But man, IT IS HARD.

This article has re-motivated me. I injured my hand while skiing in Sun Valley ten days ago and after today I'll be sporting a nice cast inhibiting my right, iPhone sideswiping and scrolling thumb for 6-8 weeks. I'm going to use this little lemon to make lemonade and focus on being present - with colleagues, friends, and most importantly, Dr. B.

When I'm back to my fast-typing self I'll report back on my progress and observations. Let the digital reboot begin.


  1. A thoughtful and thought provoking piece. Thank you for the reminder that other things are more important than being socially (media) connected

    1. Thanks for being the friend who gave me that reminder :-)